With growing pressure to reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment, building designers are increasingly being called upon to balance functionality and cost objectives with reduced environmental impact. Wood can help to achieve that balance.
Wood is the only structural building material with third-party certification systems in place to verify that products have come from a sustainably managed resource. The chart below showcases that wood has a lighter carbon footprint than other common building materials and is much less greenhouse gas intensive on a life cycle basis. It outperforms concrete and steel in terms of embodied energy, greenhouse gas emissions and air and water pollution.
Sustainable forestry and certification
Canada – and British Columbia (B.C.) – continue to be world leaders in sustainable forest management and forest certification. At present, only 10% of the world’s forests are certified, and of that, Canada holds 43%. B.C. has more area under forest certification that any other jurisdiction in the world, except Canada as a whole.
Responsible forest management helps to ensure that forests are legally harvested and managed to meet society's long-term demand for forest products. Modern forest practices maintain a balance of forest values, including water and soil quality, fish and wildlife habitat, biodiversity and First Nations considerations, as well as community and recreational opportunities.
Customers and consumers can be assured that the forest products they buy from B.C. (and Canada) are matched by no other in the world in terms of sustainable forest management and a commitment to environmental stewardship.
With a commitment to regenerating all harvested areas, an average of 200 million seedlings are planted each year in addition to natural regeneration. B.C. has planted 7.5 billion trees since reforestation programs began in the 1930s.